California Chrome’s luck ran out on Saturday as a bid to snag the Triple Crown fell short thanks to Tonalist.
Tonalist, running on fresher legs and on familiar ground was able to crush Chrome’s chance at the first Triple Crown in 36 years, reports USA Today.
Trainer Art Sherman noted that the race was difficult right out of the gate as the horse appeared to accidentally kick its right front leg with the back leg. But the likely answer for the loss was due to how Tonalist having the fresher legs as the horse did not run in either the Preakness or Derby, while Chrome was on its third race in just five weeks.
“It’s a long, hard ride on these young horses, and that’s why the Triple Crown is so tough to win,” assistant trainer Alan Sherman said. “The horse tried. That’s all I can ask for. He took me on the ride of my life. I’ll always have that in my heart for that horse.”
Co-owner Steve Coburn wasn’t so happy with the race and was upset over how the other horses weren’t in the other races and “tried to upset the apple cart,” he said according to The Chicago Tribune.
“It’s not fair to these horses that have been in the game since day one. I look at it this way, if you can’t make enough points to get in the Kentucky Derby, you can’t run the other two races.”
Coburn explained that he felt only the 20 horses that started the Kentucky Derby and earned enough points should have a shot at contending in any of the three major races.